Guest Star day ~ My Dreams of Disney | Focused on the Magic : Guest Star day ~ My Dreams of Disney


Guest Star day ~ My Dreams of Disney

It's Guest Star Day here at Focused on the Magic. Grab a cuppa and get comfy while we chat with a dear Disney blogging friend of mine, fellow Magical Blogorail member, accomplished photographer and Tech Guru, Mike creator of My Dreams of Disney

Focused on the Magic Guest Star

Welcome Mike and thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate your taking time away from your busy schedule to share a little bit about yourself and your blog, My Dreams of Disney as our Guest Star.

*Let's hear a big round of applause for Mike

 Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on making it to Round #2 of The Disney Mom’s Panel Search. How does it feel? 
      There are so many people that apply for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel that it is an incredible honor to be selected for the second round.  There are so many deserving people that don’t make it to round 2 that it humbles me that they think I’m a good enough applicant to take a second look at.  With that being said, the moment I got the email the nerves started cranking up, because I was selected for round 2 last year, and didn’t make it to round 3, and I remember how I felt when I didn’t advance.  I don’t want to go through that again!
 Where did your love of Disney come from?
      When I was a kid, my nickname was Mickey, but I didn’t get to Walt Disney World until 1979, when my Grandma and Grandpa took me and my Mom and sister (my dad was self-employed and was home working.)  More then anything, I remember the feeling of nostalgia when we entered the Magic Kingdom, and it is a feeling that has never been replaced for me.  I think the love of Disney stems from that first trip, but more then anything, the love I have has been exposing my family to that love of Disney, like when I first took my wife Cindy to Disney, and then, when we took our daughter Sophie and later my niece Stephanie.  That’s where I get my inspiration. 
   Why did you start your Disney fan blog?
     June 2010, Cindy and I took Sophie and my niece Stephanie to Walt Disney World.  It was the first time that Stephanie had been in several years, and the four of us had the time of our lives.  It was during that trip that we purchased our ownership in the Disney Vacation Club, the first time that Sophie stayed out real late for extra magic hours – and saw Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse riding Dumbo with two children!  It was after that trip that I decided to create My Dreams of Disney.  When I first started, it was purely just a way to get written down all of the memories of my trips to Walt Disney World, but I have had so much fun writing about new memories and a whole lot more on the site!
 What is your favorite park attraction and why?
 You sure know how to ask a tough question!  Every trip I have a favorite ride – going into last June’s trip my favorite was the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – but then I had two very memorable rides on Space Mountain, and that has automatically become my favorite ride!  Of course, that won’t last long – there’s always something replacing my favorite with a new favorite! J 
    What’s your favorite park?
 This is an easy question!  My favorite park is the original and the best, the Magic Kingdom!  My second favorite is Epcot.  I love the Magic Kingdom because it is timeless, and no matter what your age is, you can instantly become a kid again.  Not only that, the park is so diverse, where else can you go from small town America, to America at the time of the revolutionary war, to the world of tomorrow, and to the land of make believe?!
   What’s in your Disney camera bag? What do you shoot with?
 I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT camera.  My camera bag doubles as a backpack, so I have a few lenses that I keep with me. 
   What’s your favorite photo spot?
 I don’t really have a favorite photo spot, if I had to pick one, I would say that it is anywhere where I can take a picture of my family! 
 Tripod or not?
 I have a tripod, but I’ve never taken it to the parks.  Do you take yours, and is it something I should do? 
Debs answer ~ Yes, I do take a small travel tripod to capture fireworks. It stays in the resort during the day. You might want to try it if you enjoy taking pictures of fireworks. It makes a big difference for me. 
 Are you a park early bird or a night owl?
 I always want to try and make a rope drop, but at this point, I haven’t.  I definitely like the evening extra magic hours so much better so I would say I’m a night owl.
 If you could choose to dine with an Imagineer, who would you choose, where would you like to dine and what would you ask them?
 I would have dinner with Marc Davis, one of Disney’s 9 old men.  He had such an incredible hand in so many of the different attractions, I would ask him about the Pirates of the Caribbean scene in the queue with the pirates playing chess and having a stalemate!  As for where I would like to dine, I would request a special meal be delivered to the town scene of Pirates!
What is your favorite Disney dining location?
 My favorite is the Garden Grill Restaurant.  I love the food, it is such a wonderful meal, and the rotating restaurant is incredible.  We love the characters, but we also love to look out at the scenes from the Land Boat Ride also!  My second favorite became Cinderella’s Royal Table, the food was incredible (better then I remembered!) but what really made that meal was that we were inside the Castle when Wishes started, it was so cool!!!
Dole Whip or Mickey Bar?
 Mickey Bar.
Who is your favorite Disney face character and fur character?
 I used to say Cinderella was my favorite face character, and I have some great photos of the girls with Cinderella, but when we were at Epcot in 2011 for the start of the Food and Wine Festival, Sophie and Stephanie came upon Snow White in Germany, and they had their picture taken.  I’ve got to say Snow White that day was as beautiful a Princess as I’ve ever seen at Walt Disney World.  As for my favorite fur character, how could I not say Mickey?!
What is your favorite resort on property?
 Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!  Before we bought our DVC ownership, though, I would have said by far Port Orleans French Quarter.  BLT, though, is incredible, and being so close to the Magic Kingdom puts it at the top of the list.
What’s your favorite means of transportation when you are in WDW?
 If you could work for the Walt Disney Company, what would be your dream job?
My wife Cindy wanted to be Daisy Duck, but (to her delight) she is too tall.  My daughter Sophie wants to create her own job, where she will work at resorts giving tours of the resort.  As for me, though, I think I would like to be a Photopass Photographer.  It’s a lot of work, and extremely tiring I suppose, but it would be great to be able to capture so many memories for people enjoying their Walt Disney World vacation!
 What is your favorite Disney park memory?
The more I go to Walt Disney World, the more incredible memories we have, so it is extremely difficult to pick just one.  However,  during our last trip in June, our family experienced a moment that will never be forgotten.  Cindy and I had inside knowledge, but Stephanie, our niece, did not, and late one night, in front of Cinderella Castle, her boyfriend Shane got on one knee, and proposed to Stephanie.  Of course Stephanie said yes, and that is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life, the day my wonderful niece had her dreams come true at the Magic Kingdom.
What is your favorite Disney movie?
 I have several!  I really liked how well done The Lion King was done when it was released in 3D a while back.  However, I think my all time favorite now is Tangled.  There is one thing that is evident to anyone that meets me, and that is that I am a hopeless romantic!  I love the story of Tangled, of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, and when Rapunzel is reunited with her parents, I never fail to have a tear in my eye.
 What is your favorite Disney song?
There are a lot of Disney songs that I absolutely adore, but I think the all time number one favorite would have to be “Feed the Birds” from that absolutely wonderful movie, Mary Poppins.
 If you could ask Walt Disney one question, what would it be?
 Rather then ask him a specific question, I think that I would take some time and thank him for all of his incredible contributions.  His vision has led billions of people to discover places where it’s okay to let your guard down, act like a kid again, and forget about the stresses of work and life.  I don’t know if it was in his thought process, but Walt Disney was instrumental in improving the quality of life (in my opinion) of millions of people, myself included, and for that, he has our eternal gratitude.
 Do you have a special talent (play an instrument, cook, garden, scrapbook, paint, photography) you would like to share with us?
 I don’t think I have any really special talents, but my ability to love is a gift that I treasure.  I love Cindy, Sophie, and all my family, and I have made so many wonderful friends both inside the Disney community and outside of it that it truly humbles me to think about how blessed a life God has given me.  I take pride in knowing that my site has evolved to the point that a lot of people look to it for their “Disney Fix” and can use it to both plan their vacations and also take a break from reality for a few minutes.
My Dreams of Disney Focused on the Magic Guest Star

 Let’s hear about your blog. Do you have a niche or specialty?
 I don’t really have a specific niche that I have been able to determine.  I love to write; to bring the reader in their mind’s eye right into Walt Disney World with me.  I love my Disney photographs, although they do not even compare with some of the work that you produce, Debra! 
 What is it that inspires you to write about Disney?
 Every time I write about Disney, I use the time I spend writing as a way of thinking about the trips that we will be taking in the future; it’s both a memory exercise and also a way for me to kind of work out what we should look at the next time we visit.  Beyond that, the inspiration for the blog is whatever I see that makes me think about Disney.  Sometimes it is a movie, or a song I hear on the radio, or something like that.  Sometimes the inspiration just happens when I’m traveling in the car.

My Dreams of Disney Focused on the Magic
My Dreams of Disney is just that…My Dreams of my absolute favorite place in the World! 
Stop by and share your Dreams too! 

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I hope you enjoyed our visit with Mike today and that you'll stop back for our next Guest Star Day where we'll spend Friday with friends.
We'd like to get to know your friends too. Do you have a post from your blog that you've written about a Disney friend you'd like to share in the linky below?

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  1. Thank you for doing this, Deb! I'm honored and humbled that you considered me worthy of being a guest star, and I'll never forget this moment! Thanks again!

  2. You're so very welcome Mike! You are a star every day! It was such a pleasure to have you as our guest today:) Thank you!!

  3. DisneyDonnaKay9:13 AM

    Another great post Deb!! Love getting to know Mike better!!

  4. Thanks Donna! Mike is just the sweetest guy for putting up with my questions and I'm so glad he did!

  5. Mike is such a giving person to everyone. He definitely is a star in my book. His blog is fun and I consider him a friend. I could not thank him enough for the support he has shown me over the almost two years we have "known" each other. Now to meet in person one day!

  6. I have an equally hard time choosing favorites, Mike. Isn't it great? Who else makes such seemingly simple choices, downright difficult? Nobody but, Disney!


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